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Notes from the Delta - March 2013 Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Dear Team and Family,

I hope this message finds everyone well as we are in the midst of a long and tough academic push towards test season and graduation.  Our students and teachers are as focused as they have been all year.

This is our 11th year and therefore our 11th spring season of testing.  I can remember all too well the spring of 2004, the first year our founding class took the State Benchmark Exam.  Not knowing what to expect, the teachers and students threw their hearts and souls into preparing for the test.  Nothing mattered more.  The results bore out in our favor and while we were proud of our students’ accomplishments, we remained naïve about the challenges yet to come.

Nearly ten years later, we now possess a clearer understanding as to what defines success for our students.  Although the stress of the tests never goes away and the results do matter, we have learned student growth and achievement is about more than just tests results. More and more, we know that character development is paramount. We know that uncovering our students’ character strengths is just as important as preparing them academically to move to and through college. As such, I present this challenge to all members of the Team and Family: take advantage of every possible teachable moment to promote character strengths such as grit, gratitude, and curiosity.  We have within our grasp the ability to effect such positive and fundamental change in so many students’ lives; consequently, it is our charge to elevate our efforts both in character development and academics.

On another note, we are proud to announce that our new and improved KIPP Delta website has launched! Our aspiration is that the site will be easier to use for parents, students, and staff while enticing new students, talented staff, and community members to join and/or support the KIPP Delta Team and Family.  Please take a few minutes to explore the new www.kippdelta.org and do let us know if you have any feedback as we want the site to be useful to you. 

Take care, and have an excellent month!

Sincerely,

Scott Shirey
Executive Director

 

 

Expedition on the Mississippi River

At the end of February, two KIPP Delta Collegiate students took part in a 10-day circumnavigation of Big Island, a spectacular piece of land cut out by the Mississippi, Arkansas, and White Rivers. Oscar Donaby, Class of 2013, and Tristan Honeycutt, Class of 2014, joined Mike Clark and John Ruskey for the very first documented circumnavigation of Big Island in the history of its existence. Thanks to the Quapaw Canoeing Company and Big Muddy Adventures, Oscar and Tristan had an opportunity to put their canoeing skills to work, while also completing important scientific research. The crew of Mighty Quapaws collected data for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and participated in the annual bird count for the National Audubon Society. In addition to having two explorers, KIPP Delta also assisted with the preparation of this expedition. Ms. Sarah Guilliam of KIPP Delta Collegiate High School, as well the 5th and 6th grade classes at KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, were essential contributors. Check out the route our students traveled, updates from along the way, and photographs from the circumnavigation.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month

Dontavius Ingram, of the KIPP Delta Class of 2012, reignited the tradition of celebrating Black History Month at Williams Baptist College this February. In just his freshman year, the Williams Baptist student activities director felt Dontavius would be an ideal leader for such an important task.  After forming a committee of students, he got to work planning a month of special events. On February 5, Dontavius invited the KIPP Delta Collegiate High School Choir and the KIPP Blytheville Singing Scholars to perform at the Williams Baptist Manley Chapel. The audience of students, professors, and administrators, including the College President, enjoyed a fantastic performance. This was the first ever combined concert for our KIPP Delta choirs. Students had the opportunity to eat dinner in the college dining hall, which was a first for all of those from KIPP Blytheville. Williams Baptist College was thrilled to host our students and has already invited both schools to return again in the future.

 

 

84% of students in the Class of 2013 have been accepted to college already, and many more letters are on the way!

Also in the News or Announcements and Highlights

  • The new KIPP Delta website has been launched! Visit the new and improved www.kippdelta.org
  • KIPP Delta Junior Boys are the 1A 5 North District Champions! The senior boys fell just a point short of doing the same.  Both teams had an incredibly successful season!
  • KIPP Blytheville hosted its first ever Benchmark Madness on February 22-23. Check out the pictures here!

 

Upcoming Events:

  • March 16-24: Spring Break - No School.
  • March 29: Good Friday Holiday - No School.
  • May 18: Class of 2013 Graduation, 7:00pm at the Lily Peters Auditorium at Phillips County Community College.

If you are a journalist or a member of the media and have an inquiry, please contact:

Carissa Godwin
Chief Development Officer
870-714-9635
carissa.godwin@kippdelta.org